The Average Life Period of an Atom


I QUITE agree with Dr. Jeffreys (NATURE, Jan. 19, p. 87) that a reader of my original letter would not have gathered much about Dr. Jeffreys' views on earth history from my remarks about the average life period of an atom. The whole point of my letter was that as the earth at present appears to be approximately in thermal equilibrium, the life period of a terrestrial atom must be very large compared with that of the universe. Dr. Jeffreys' contention that 13 per cent approximately of the present heat loss must, of necessity, be attributed to primeval heat, leaving only 87 per cent to be explained by all atomic disintegration processes, known or unknown, only strengthens this proposition.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

POOLE, J. The Average Life Period of an Atom. Nature 123, 131 (1929).

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.